Thursday, April 7, 2016


FMU @ 15800 NW 42nd Ave, Miami Gardens


300 Seats


4 Discussion Sessions

One Heritage State of Black Miami Forum / Where are we, and where do we want to be?

On Thursday, April 7, 2016, Chairman Jean Monestime, in collaboration with his colleagues of the Miami-Dade County Commission, Commissioners Audrey Edmonson, Barbara Jordan, and Dennis Moss, Chairman Keon Hardemon of City of Miami Commission, and key stakeholder organizations in the Black community, including, but not limited to Florida Memorial University, Miami-Dade Branch of the NAACP, Urban League of Greater Miami, Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce, Black Affairs Advisory Board, SantLa Neighborhood Center, The Collective Empowerment Group, among others, convened a community conversation and assessment of Black Miami’s state of economic prosperity, community development, and quality of life

The 2016 One Heritage State of Black Miami Forum endeavors to pursue recommended ideas, initiatives, and legislation for impacting the State of Black Miami. The Summit will also promote the cultural theme of One Heritage and inclusiveness within all of Black Miami.

The One Heritage State of Black Miami Forum was hosted on the campus of Florida Memorial University. For more information, contact Chairman Monestime’s office at (305) 694-2779.

One Heritage State of Black Miami Flyer

Chairman's Message / The vision

Forum Schedule / A must attend!

Welcome Address & Breakfast

Doors open at 8am for registration. Dr. Roslyn Artis, President of Florida Memorial University will give a warm welcome on behalf of the university, and as the convener of the day long forum, Chairman Jean Monestime will give the welcome address and set the tone for the day. Chairman Monestime's colleagues, Commissioner Audrey Edmonson and Chairman Keon Hardemon will also give remarks at the breakfast.

Carlos Migoya, President & CEO of Jackson Health Systems will provide remarks as the breakfast sponsor.

Session 1 – Youth: The Next Generation

Black youth under the age of 25 are estimated to be over 30% of the total Black population in Miami.  In recent months, our Black youth have been disproportionately involved in urban violence as victims or perpetrators.  This session aims to proactively propose and highlight best practices, legislation, and/or programmatic ideas to secure a brighter future for the youth of Black Miami through educational access, mentoring, restorative justice, and economic opportunities.

Moderator: Shirley Plantin-Pierre, Director of Youth & Family Advocacy, Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center
  • Morris Copeland - Director of Miami-Dade Juvenile Services Department
  • Dr. Josie Gregoire - Assistant Principal at Natural Bridge Elementary
  • Stephen Johnson - President, One Hundred Black Men of South Florida
  • Phillip Agnew - Dream Defenders
  • Matthew Pigatt - Florida Memorial University

Session 2: Economic Prosperity

In 2016, Miami and Miami-Dade County still houses some of the lowest per capita income zip codes in America. Additionally, despite being over 19% of the total County population, Black-owned businesses receive less than an estimated 2% of  government-based contracts. This session endeavors to recommend meaningful initiatives to elevate business opportunities for Black-owned businesses, address obstacles for job creation or higher living wages, and assess our institutional platforms for procurement.

Moderator: Beatrice Louissaint - CEO, Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council
  • Darryl Holsendolph - CEO, Holsen Inc and Chair, NAACP Small Business Committee
  • Ron Frazier - Chairman/CEO, BAC Funding Corporation
  • Eric Knowles - President, Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce
  • Gary Hartfield - Director, Miami-Dade County, Small Business Division
  • Brian A. Williams - Economic Development Officer, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Office of Economic Opportunity

Lunch sponsored by New York Life

New York Life Insurance has embarked on a national plan to help African-Americans protect our dreams and build for our family’s future.  New York Life will offer remarks about this empowerment plan to work toward the goal of generating $50 billion of generally tax-free future income every five years. New York Life is aiming to protect the dreams of 200,000 African American families by showing each one how purchasing at least $250,000 of life insurance today can lead to a more financially secure tomorrow.

Session 4: Quality of Life Track

Our quality of life is rooted in the State of Black Miami’s mind, body, and soul. This session strives to address threats and opportunities to improving the state of our health, educational equity, justice system, and access to cultural amenities. In this regard, the session will take a holistic look at the quality of life of the Black Miami-Dade resident.

Moderator: Retha Boone, Director, Black Affairs Advisory Board
  • Desmond Meade - President, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and Chair, Floridians for a Fair Democracy
  • Dr. Carol Biggs - Vice President, Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute at Baptist - South Miami Hospital
  • Pastor Joaquin Willis - Church of the Open Door
  • Rosie Gordon-Wallace - Curator of Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator

Session 3: Community Development

As more Black Miami residents are likely to be renters than homeowners, utilize a large percentage of their income on transportation, and live in communities with little green space the State of Black Miami’s livability and mobility focus calls for significant improvement. This session aims to recommend ideas and initiatives to uplift the quality and connectivity of the infrastructure in our communities related to environment and sustainability, housing, and transportation and mobility.

Moderator: Barron Channer - BACH Real Estate
  • Housing: T. Willard Fair - President & CEO, Urban League of Greater Miami
  • Transportation: Clarence Washington – President, Transit Workers Union
  • Environment: Dr. Pandwe Gibson – Executive Director, EcoTech Visions
  • Economics: John Dixon - Executive Director, Miami Dade Economic Advocacy Trust (MDEAT)


In the wrap session, the Forum will recap all realistic and practical recommendations for legislative and/or private sector implementation with the assistance of the Office of the Chair, the Miami-Dade County Commission, the City of Miami, and other stakeholder organizations. The session will identify specific responsible persons and/or entities and a timeline for deliberate action.

Event Partners / A community event

STAY CONNECTED / Share your thoughts


Event FAQS / Find your answers

The purpose of the One Heritage State of Black Miami Forum is to convene the entire Black community to look at our challenges and accomplishments through a common lens. Following this discussion, Miami-Dade's leaders can help to unleash the potential of Black population with proactive efforts to pursue policies and actions that are equitable and inclusive. The objective of the Forum is to also celebrate oneness of community heritage and unite the entire Black diaspora whether African-American or of Caribbean and/or Afro-Hispanic heritage. As Miami continues to evolve as a world class region, a shared prosperity is vital for all of Miami-Dade County including for communities of color, which is what the Forum intends to address.  
The One Heritage State of Black Miami Forum is open to the entire community and will reflect the richness of the Black community to include the African-American community, Caribbean diaspora, as well as Afro-Hispanics. A number of organizations representing various segments of our community will also be participating in this important discussion.
The day-long forum will discuss and assess Black Miami's state of economic prosperity, community development, and quality of life with topics centered around procurement, infrastructure, economic activity, criminal justice reform and policing, education, and housing.

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